LBST 330: Legal Research

Report
LBST 330: LEGAL RESEARCH
YOLANDA KOSCIELSKI,
LIBRARIAN FOR CRIMINOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY
[email protected]
OBJECTIVES
• Provide a introduction to legal research to fulfill
course needs:
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Understand case citations
Use the legal databases CANLII and Quicklaw
Locate decisions and statutes in databases
Use the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED)
and the Canadian Abridgment Digest (CAD) to
locate decisions on topic
1. UNDERSTANDING CASE CITATIONS
• Case name=plaintiff & defendant, petitioner & respondent, etc.
• This report can be found in the 69th volume of the Dominion
Law Reports on page 433.
• The "2nd" tells you that the DLR has been published in multiple
series; the second series was 1956-68
• SCBC indicates this was a Supreme Court of British Columbia
decision
UNDERSTANDING CASE CITATIONS
Examples:
• LeBrun v High-Low Foods Ltd. (1968), 69 D.L.R. (2nd)
433 (S.C.B.C.)
• R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103, 26 D.L.R. (4th) 200,
65 N.R. 87 (S.C.C.)
• Hopp v Lepp, [1980] 2 SCR 192, 112 DLR (3d) 67
• Silva v. Silva, 2014 BCSC 29
• Neutral citation = cite a case without relying on court
reporters; a persistent and unique identifier for a case
• EXERCISE
UNDERSTANDING CASE CITATIONS
Wells v. Newfoundland (1997), 156 Nfld. &
P.E.I.R. 271, 483 A.P.R. 271, 5 Admin. L.R. (3d)
113, (N.L.C.A.)
The same citation in 2 electronic databases:
• 1997 CarswellNfld 199 (LawSource/Carswell)
• 1997 CanLII 14705 (NLCA) (CANLII)
• Queen’s University Legal Citation Guide
Wells v. Newfoundland (1997), 156 Nfld. & P.E.I.R.
271, 483 A.P.R. 271, 5 Admin. L.R. (3d) 113, (N.L.C.A.)
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Case name (Appellant + Respondents)
Year of Decision
Volume number of law report
Law reporter name (Newfoundland and Prince
Edward Island Reporter)
Page number in that law report volume
Other law reporters (aka parallel citations)
Series number of law report, as applicable
Court the case was heard in
Rai v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
2013 CHRT 36
• Case name (Complainant +
Respondent)
• Date of decision
• Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
• Decision number 36 of 2013
CANLII
• “CanLII is a non-profit organization managed by the
Federation of Law Societies of Canada. CanLII's
goal is to make Canadian law accessible for free
on the Internet. This website provides access to
court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutes and
regulations from all Canadian jurisdictions”.
• Free & easy to use
• Continually improving & expanding
CANLII
• Use Scope of Databases link to search within
decisions from:
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Canadian Human Rights Tribunal 1979 –
BC Human Rights Tribunal 2008 –
BC Labour Relations Board 2004 –
BC Labour Arbitrations Awards 2010 –
• Links to associated legislation included
• Date range limited; may need to use other sources
for older decisions
• DEMO x 2
NOTE UP A CASE
• Means you are researching a case to see if…
• it has been cited in subsequent cases
• the decision has proceeded to a higher court
• Process ensures you have found the most
recent (i.e., legally relevant) version of a case
• DEMO
KEY CONCEPT: SECONDARY LEGAL
LITERATURE
• Searching primary sources directly for case
law by keyword is usually not recommended
• Keyword = 1000s of unrelated hits
• Exception: very unique terminology
• Start with secondary legal sources and/or
specialized legal research tools, such as:
• Canadian Encyclopedia Digest
• Canadian Abridgment Digest
KEY CONCEPT: SECONDARY LEGAL
LITERATURE
• Primary Legal Literature: case law + decisions
• Secondary Legal Literature: articles from
academic legal journals, case commentary,
newsletters and digests by legal experts,
textbooks
• Uses of secondary lit:
Current awareness of legal issues (e.g.,
weekly digests)
Efficient way to locate case law by topic
Provide understanding of legal issues and
case law in context
DECISIONS BY TOPIC
Quick intro to 3 sources:
• Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED)
• Canadian Abridgment Digest (CAD)
• Quicklaw’s secondary sources
CANADIAN ABRIDGMENT DIGEST
• Available in LawSource database
• “Digests of Canadian case law that are organized
by legal issue according to a single taxonomy”
• Scope: over 750,000 cases
• 1803  all reported cases
• 1986  all unreported and reported cases
• Updated daily
• A case may be “digested” in more than one
subject category
• DEMO
CANADIAN ENCYCLOPEDIC DIGEST
• Available in LawSource Database
• > 225 entries on legal topics
• Entries provide “a comprehensive statement
of the law, as derived from case law and
legislation”
• Footnotes will point you to key legislation
and seminal cases
• DEMO
QUICKLAW
• Case Law
• Academic Legal Journals
• EXERCISES
QUESTIONS?
• Yolanda Koscielski, Liaison Librarian for Criminology
& Psychology at Burnaby [email protected]
• Rebecca Dowson, Liaison Librarian for History &
English & Labour Studies, [email protected]
General queries:
• AskUsDesk
• AskAway
• TextUs

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